tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 9, 2013 7:00am-10:01am EST
the role of medicaid under the affordable care act and that military times read order examines military personnel costs and their impact on the defense department budget. "washington journal" is next. host: eight of the biggest tech companies are calling for tighter control on government surveillance. joining far gases -- joining forces, the companies including google, microsoft, and twitter sent an open letter to president brock obama, arguing that while governments have a duty to protect citizens, recent revelations highlight the needs to reform group -- to reform government surveillance practices worldwide.
the revelations have shaken the tech industry. it has heightened calls for surveillance reform. that is our topic today. has government surveillance gone too far? welcome to "washington journal. we want to hear from you this morning. the numbers are -- you can also reach out to us on social media. take a look at the headlines. first in "usa today," --
that investigation coming out this morning, it details how public service agencies are using that surveillance data. let's talk about the eight tech companies calling for more surveillance limits. those include apple, google, microsoft, and twitter. looking at the front page of "the washington post" this morning -- from that letter --
let's go to your calls. in northgo to david carolina on our line for independents. hey.r: i use a lot of the social facebook. outy to put my opinion there and i feel when it gets that it locksed up all the time, stuff gets delete it randomly. i can never get a clear thought out there into the world. people lookinghe over your shoulder causing technical difficulties with your equipment. at this morning's
limiting the government possibility to collect user information, a base concern for a lot of consumers. to a obviously connected proposal causing traffic on capitol hill. we will detail those for you in a minute. from go to another call kevin in fish haven, idaho on our line for independents. caller: thank you for taking my call. a lot of people have their hands in the air about all of this. i take this from an educational point of view. our people to on see who was being subversive to our government, who was working with foreign interests. this is nothing new. unfortunately the nsa, as much as we hate it and it leaves a to taste, they have a job
do. when you take a look at multimedia, like facebook, twitter, so on and so forth, you have people constantly pushing one side or the other and if they are following these little groups online and nobody knows who these groups are. now that facebook is a public , who is spending the money to antagonize people to take extreme size of -- extreme --es of republican, democrat if you take a look at what is out there, it is extremely hateful, extremely pointed, and a violent tone. why are people having such a the time understanding that government has a job to protect its people? if you are going to put something stupid out there you are responsible for your actions. host: will any of these
surveillance disclosures changed the way you use social media like facebook? caller: no. the bottom line is if i am going to say something stupid -- i am a teacher, if a child says something stupid in the classroom i have to address the issue. if i have done something that , i watch whatline i say, what i post, how i posted. and i have been doing that he for i knew about this and as a garbage. does it change me? not in the least. charlie in new york on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. than the government to worry about. let me give you an example. was a a lady friend who smoker. a couple of times a week she will call me and say, on your way over we you stop by and pick up a pack of cigarettes? which i do. manager ofs ago, the
the tobacco shop said to me, you know if you log onto m arlboro.com, they will send you coupons every month. discovered that what they knew about me -- what the corporation new about me was shocking. they knew where i lived 25 years ago. knew everyw -- they phone number i have had for the past 16 years. i have never, in my life, purchased any product marketed by the phillip morris corporation. of what they knew about it was shocking. what you think lawmakers should do about that? isler: i would imagine it
about the administration's efforts when it comes to nsa spying. let's take a look at what he had to say. [video clip] goode nsa has done a very job about not engaging in domestic surveillance. outside of our borders the nsa is more aggressive. it is not constrained by laws. posing some self- restraint on the nsa. to initiate some reports that can give people more confidence. with does president obama chris matthews at the american university. of wwe are at facebook.com/cspan. let's read some comments --
the news editor at "the hill" newspaper. thank you for joining us this morning. guest: thank you for having me. "the washington post" stated, we are expecting a budget deal to come out this week. what is it going to look like? guest: it is not going to be the grand bargain that has dominated the discussion over the past five years. hikes.looking at tax they are also not looking at significant cuts to medicare, security,or social which are areas republicans say needs to be done. instead we are looking at pretty small things and haggling over whether to have federal employees attribute more to their retirement -- employees contribute more to their retirement plans. thingse also looking at -- a spectrum that is going to be sold to telephone companies. they are looking at a small
budget deal that would replace some of the sequester, the automatic spending cuts that were launched in 2011 as part of a but -- part of a different budget process. like can't there right now? why can't there be a grand bargain right now? caller: because republicans and democrats can't agree. all ryan, the chairman of the budget committee, and patty murray decided they were not going to go after the towels of the other party and just try to get something that was possible -- after all these failed budget agreements in the past, look we are not even going to go there this time. we are going to go for something much smaller. host: talking with ian swanson of "the hill." even if there is a agreement made this week, there will be a
budget battle for 2014. caller: one thing this he'll will not do is raise the debt ceiling. at some point next year they are going to have to do that. it is a little difficult to forecast exactly one that is going to be. in part because the economy is -- it is a little bit more strong. as a result that extends the time in which the treasury -- atment can do things some point congress is going to have to do that. i suppose the earliest it could possibly be is february. it is much more likely that it is sometime in spring or the beginning of the summer. then you are going to get the debate over -- we should look at tax hikes, changes in entitlement. it is hard to see how they are going to get any agreement on those areas. particularly in election year. the house is expected to
adjourn for the year on friday and the senate shortly after. a lot of high-profile legislation still hanging in the balance. it is the list of what is likely to make it through the 113th congress. i think the only thing that is likely to get through is the defense authorization act. will see what gets included. one thing we will be watching is to see whether any legislation sanctioning iran is added to that bill. the administration is doing everything it can to prevent congress from doing that but a lot of members are still interested in adding sanctions to iran. another thing to watch for is the farm bill. if they cannot get a deal they are going to have to extend existing -- finally the senate are here for
and asked her week. they will look at a lot of nominations, particularly after the filibuster changes republicans ran through a couple of weeks ago. among the big nominees are the new chairwoman of the federal reserve, jackie ellen. -- a number of articles suggest this is the most unproductive congress ever. why is it so hard to get anything done on capitol hill? it is divided government. you have the senate run by democrats, the house run right -- the house run by republicans. leadership for a longtime hasn't really been able to completely control their members. there is a lot of opposition to president obama, which does not make compromise easy.
we are at a unique time in where no one is able to get along or agree on any of the big things. would make is a lot of republicans say they don't think that the measure should be bills passed in terms of whether congress is productive. are trying to fight the battle on the health-care law and are being more of. we have been talking with ian swanson. thank you for joining us this morning. now to marietta, georgia. david is on our line for independents. is whenmy main comment we look at the nsa spying activity, if you know a lot about somebody you can manipulate their behavior. looking at a americans and foreigners abroad, i think about a lot of people who don't have much. now there is this force that has
the ability to know anything about them. think it is any different than some he cheating and car's. you know aketing, if lot about the person you are trying to influence and purchase decision, the more you know the more successful you can position yourself to get them to buy your products. but in thisferent case it is more disconcerting because it is somebody acting in ways you just have no idea about. i think it is kind of disingenuous because it can be abused. >> our topics this morning, is government surveillance going to far? the numbers are --
democratic line. good morning. thank you for taking my call, i do appreciate your show. congress or if trulyuntry was concerned with raining and the national security agency they would have to go after the funding. congress must be happy the way things are going because they don't seem to want to do anything about it. that is all i have to say. robert is on our line for independents. caller: i would like to i heard asay that recent blurb regarding president obama's attempt to rein in nsa surveillance. rathertly think it is
disingenuous. it doesn't really matter what administration is in office. council,nal security these are agencies that are so entrenched in our government. they basically operate through a black budget. a lot of money that was siphoned through taxes are going to be totally off the books. it doesn't matter what any president or any policy -- they want to operate independent of the administration and the office. beware of the military and industrial complex. bob is on our line for democrats. caller: i would like to remind
folks that when george bush was trying to pass to this -- pass this patriots act, the big response to people worried about losing their freedom or thatty's or whatever was if you are not doing anything wrong you do not have to worry about it. well and ithat very would just like to remind republicans that are complaining about this surveillance problem that that is what they are faced with. thank you. another comment from facebook --
next in virginia, sharon is on our line for republicans. good morning, sharon. caller: good morning. i think they have gone too far. they give people tickets they should not even have. everything is just going to far. what would you like to see government -- government do in response to the surveillance? i know some people have gone too far. we need a solution.
next in maryland, matthew is on our line for republicans. caller: thank you for taking my call. things, thecheme of most simple analysis you can say is when you are gathering deep -- gathering data on people -- no group of people should have an advantage over another group of people. that essentially sets them aside. it has nothing to do with the two percent of the rich. this is the one percent of the knowledgeable people. you are part of a club, part of a paternal order of the one percent of the people that know the rest about society than a common citizen. you are paying taxes to people who know everything about you.
on a speeding ticket with a camera, they're just taking photographs and sending you bills in the mail. where is it going to end? it is like a paternal group of people who know about the rest of society. let's go to diana in livingston new jersey. the argument that if you are doing nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about is pretty lenient. if they can target you -- i like to speak out against corporate dominance, how they try not to pay their taxes into this -- all this information can be targeted and gathered on you and you can be targeted for your political .eliefs, your religious beliefs i disagree with that.
why should i be targeted cap go it is a definite plan to get my money. the middle-class wants to know what they can sell us, what we are going to buy, what we are going to do. it is not freedom. another legislative priority that may not make it through congress's immigration. in "the new york times" the headline is --
line for democrats. independents. event, i think the nsa would be better served if they use their resources to find out what is going on in the sink a possibleands and dispute between japan and -- andd china let mainland china. the united states cannot afford to have a conflict with china, at least not right now. they have all the manufacturing.
he wants the south china sea, where it is oil rich -- there is oil and fish down there. we cannot afford that kind of thing. i think we would be better served focusing on that than dealing with the american people, especially since we are only at five percent of the world and 25% of the prison population. burlington, north carolina, neil is on our line for independents. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think you all have a great show. the nsa needs to be shut down. fbi, we have all these other government agencies. this is just another example of the nsa totally out of control. this is another tool of power and corruption.
thank you for your call. let's go to new jersey where georges on our line for republicans. i just want to make a comment, sort of about what the last guy said -- the government is so radical now. do tojust as far as they get what we want but we do it in secrecy. what kind of limits do you think the government should place on surveillance? i think an entirely new system needs to be built by the people. everything should be by the people. the fact that our president only counts for a third of the ballot a deal editorial vote only counts for two thirds is ridiculous.
have a sickly nothing to do with our government. we are like the roman empire. dolet the government whatever they want and we do nothing about it. nobody wants another war, especially in america. do to fix the problems when the government just shut you up? that is about all i have to say about that. tech companies call for limits on government surveillance. next up is our line for independents. caller: you look very nice. was spyingr hoover on the black panthers back in the day, nobody said anything about that. they were only trying to help black people get out of this apartheid.
jonathan is on our line for independents in woodbridge virginia. caller: the statement you just read is basically my comment. overall the government has way too much power now. the distrust of the citizens has gone out of hand. the bag that we would just be able to bear arms to protect dcaelves, if i drive into
cannot take a weapon to protect myself. my wife cannot even have mace on her unless it is registered. what really is no and to they can book on us. there's a lot of momentum going the wrong way. what would you like to see lawmakers do? a spendinghave problem and it has gone out of control. as a former military member, if you cannot pay the military to do their jobs it is not going to take too long for them to -- try to recognize that. stop spending on entitlement programs and things that are automatic and make government be the mandatory evil of providing
basic defense. secondly, big regulation should be in place for our surveillance agencies. i think the patriot act needs to be repealed. they can definitely put you into tame it. the odds are against you. if they want to put to a gay -- put you away, it doesn't matter what the evidence is. tech companies call for limits on government surveillance. and using palm springs, california. caller: good morning. i feel for everybody.
i can also be a victim. is getting more corrupt as we go on. a lot of things are happening. for instance, the fires in california, i just happen to know somebody that everywhere he firethe summer there was a not far away. he posted on facebook all the time. there were fires almost wherever he went. my mother just passed away and there were heirlooms that my daughter wanted from ups -- wanted to -- wanted. i shouldem via ups and have had somebody sign for it. apparently they delivered it and somebody stole it.
we are talking about tech companies calling for limits on government surveillance. line fromn the virginia. i actually work for the government. i think people are being too naive about the role the government must play in protecting your information and the in dash and infrastructure -- it is atconomy -- it is mandatory for us to even have an economy. one of the things people overlook is the majority of what nsa is doing is trying to keep
that infrastructure secure and it has been an extreme a complicated issue. one change in technology is the new digital age. the other one is the end of .ower a phenomenal book in trying to get across the change that is going on that we all need to understand if we are going to thatur government to find very delicate balance between security and private civil liberties. where do you think the united states falls on the line? is it going too far and infringing on privacy and free speech is?
it is such a hard judgment call. the head of nsa and cyber command, i know him. somebody has to be in charge of this stuff. there is an infrastructure that has been put in place. thatere is any concern there are activities going on the could be a threat to rise of americans, we have to follow those trails. i do think we have some legal inferred --s our our infrastructure has so rapidly vault people have jumped on it for positive reasons. now we are seeing there is a negative side. if you're into that shuts down because the government has not
protected the backbone, the servers that provide you access to the world wide web, you are going to be pretty upset. you will be demonstrating in the streets then. a double edged sword. sam is on our line for democrats from chesapeake, virginia. it seems like everybody wants to be their own police. how is it everybody is going to be a policeman when we have a government that can't even run up list system in this country. i can remember when the ku klux klan ran the country.
these people need to have a betem where these people can put into position. -- these people can't be put into position. the repeal of the glass- steagall act, you have the patriot act, the national it isization act -- control of the american people and shift of wealth to the one percent. of the american people let all this to happen. you can't have a government for the people and by the people.
we have to fix that. government fora the people and by the people if they do this. we have to fix that. been -- next caller. caller: i have been listening to the conversation and at and , a person made a comment that just stunned me. every time you think you know something you realize there is more you need to know. the country is gun shy about the government stepping in and taking our information from the tech companies. we really need to remember the tech companies are private companies. to give our information to private companies that are then using us for their algorithms.
the average company creating these algorithms that study what we havewhen we buy, european companies which are private companies which are accessing our data. we have to really look at this friendly. are you really ok given your information to a stranger? when i heard it reframed in that way -- to take are going quick break. only come back we're going to be talking with bob bigsby. -- bob x be. -- bob bixby. we will be right back.
she said, mental health is just not a sexy issue. tour the country, found out what was needed, developed past the mental health systems act of 1980. congress one-ugh month before being voluntarily retired from the white house. >> first lady rosalynn carter tonight at 9:00 eastern. >> the wireline world is the central security or system of our country. it is the veins and arteries that connect what is now the information economy in the united states. data traffic
increase at the rate of 40% per year. it connects all forms of communication whether they originate in a wireline environment or not. i would say america' to is a wireline future. >> the future of communications industry with walter mccormick tonight on the communicators at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span two. >> "washington journal" continues. the: we are joined by executive director of the concorde coalition. thank you for joining us this morning. over the weekend it was reported that negotiators are getting closer to a budget deal. tell us what that looks like. >> it looks like what they're replace try to do is about two years worth of sequestration cuts, which was a lower level that went into effect earlier this year.
they want to replace the savings so it would not add to the deficit by increasing some government fees and perhaps requiring higher contributions and maybe a workers 60 52 $7 billion deal. it would be an agreement on the level of discretionary spending or the appropriations bills for the next two years. is this a large or small deal? caller: this is not what you would call a brain -- a grand bargain. they deliberately set it pretty modest target. finding some of sort of agreement for this year,
this year's appropriations levels and possibly next year year's, they would target that. talking about the prospects of a budget deal this morning. you are welcome to join our conversation. democrats -- this weekend rob -- talked about the prospects of a budget yield and affording a government shutdown. [video clip] >> can you get an extension if you -- can you get an extension if it is paid for? >> that is $25 billion nobody was talking about until last week. it is an additional cost within this budget agreement.
i'm glad to hear my colleagues say that it is not necessarily a sticking point. i think there are different ways to look at it. the key is that we do not have another government shutdown, that we keep the spending caps in place, and we do not raise taxes at a time when the economy is still weak. your take? what was talked about is the extension of unemployment benefits. that is scheduled to expire by next year. that appears not to be a part of the budget deal, that would be another $25 billion or so. it is probably not going to be a of the budget deal we have been reading about open to weekend. of your calls, first
on the line is carl on our line for democrats. i think the american people need to realize we need to restructure economic policies. primarily we have problems because trickle down growth does not work. we need to have some adjustments to these trade agreements so we can build an economy from within . we cannot continue to let business be a part of our society when all we are asking to do is make money and help you make money. thank you. i think a couple of points i do agreek up on --
some more revenue is going to be needed. when we do get to the grand bargain at some point, it is probably going to have to involve new revenues. i also agree that economic growth is important. obviously that would make the budget situation better. part of the reason the deficit has been so large in the past couple of years is that the economy was doing poorly. that reduces revenues and raises expenditures. said, wethat being cannot think that the deficit would be cured by economic growth alone. there are a lot of important and large programs in the federal government debt are rising faster than the economy, primarily medicare and social security, medicaid. some things are getting more expensive because the population is aging and there are more
beneficiaries. economic growth is important. some point going to have to do that grand bargain. it is not going to happen anytime soon and maybe it will be done incrementally. eventually we have to get the major entitlement programs and revenues. why is a grand bargain so far away? substantively there -- substantively they aren't. at the health care and tax policy and social security reform. they pretty much put together a package that we are eventually going to have to go there for something like that. the basic fundamental problems are entitlement programs cannot be paid for with the revenues we
have in the current system. you have to either look at reducing the growth of these unpopular -- of these popular programs or raise revenue. and neither one of those are popular political campaigns. and they go against the party it requires a bit of swimming against the grain. host: good morning -- we now go to our line for independents. caller: good morning. i think it was friday where the president was talked about the , the 20% of the united states. book talking about the highest 20 percentile, which
is the richest in the united states, that control about 85% population is living off of 15% of the wealth. can you comment on that? our economic structure is weird. i don't know how democratic we are. a book was saying that the highest 20% control only 35% of the wealth. can you please comment on that? my area of expertise is more the federal budget than the structure of the economy. the income equality has been rising and increasing. i think this is a real problem. stagnant wages and income growth
is not keeping pace. budget there are federal policies that can address that. i am not the economists i -- ably should not when those on our line for democrats. -- wendell is on the line for democrats. the problem is -- inment has overspent could balance the budget probably in 10 days. our overpaid politicians cannot do that. in the meantime they are sending the jobs overseas.
why we do not have any insurance. 's jobs went overseas and we don't have the health insurance to pay for. host: your thoughts he e -- your thoughts? guest: rising health care costs are problem -- are a problem all the way around. we are going through a restructuring of the health care system now with the affordable care act. we are going to have to see how that plays out. your first comment, i agree with it. we have a structural imbalance between what we spend and what we take in. not making the political choices we need to
make to close that gap. it is not like we need to try to balance the budget this year or next year because the economy is still struggling to get on its feet. we do need to take account of things put out by the budget office and accountability office on others to tell us we are on an unsustainable track. can add policies now that are going to be phased in over time. wen the economy recovers will have a more sustainable and balanced approach to federal spending and revenues. a couple of comments from twitter -- your thoughts he e guest: -- your thoughts? guest: i think we have to think
about the difference between short-term and long-term. when the economy is still weak, you do not want to do things tot would -- you do not want cut spending too fast. you have to look ahead. can we do everything we are still doing? the answer is no. it is a matter of math. spending is going to increase revenues. you have to borrow money to make up that difference. it eventually it becomes unsustainable. the point is not that you need to cut somebody's social security benefits to try to balance the budget or next year
or the next few years. and howthe commitments you're going to pay for them and come up with something that over time is going to be sustainable. that is what the grand organ is about -- grand bargain is about. it is not about austerity. we have a slow economy and an unsustainable long-term track. you have to deal with those things simultaneously. you can have separate remedies for them. walking and chewing gum at the same time economically. that is what we need to do. we have these different problems. it is easy to conflate them but you can treat them separately.
host: sheila is on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i have a comment and a question. why did they cut food stamps? i know there is a lot of fraud and waste in every program. why can't you put in place a program that can help stop the fraud instead of cutting food stamps. themajority of people is disabled and the children and veterans. my comment is, everybody talks about president obama. they are blaming president obama for this and that. he cannot do it alone. he cannot do anything by himself. thank you.
guest: on your last point, that is right. there has to be a bipartisan solution to our budget problems. aspect about the budget deal seems to be developing, it would be an instance in which the democrats and republicans have agreed on something and the white house is presumably ok with. it would be something that has bipartisan support. i the food stamp question, think food stamp costs went up with the economy. thatthe economy went down, raises foodstamp expenditures because more people need the assistance. some of that is coming down.
there is still a need out there. the farm bill is being debated on capitol hill and how much food stands would be cut, there is a big difference between the house plan and the senate plan. it is not clear what the cut wouuld bld be. people think there is a lot of fraud and abuse. the economy is improving. some people perceive less of a need. they are going to work something out. they are far apart. the house has a $40 billion cut over 10 years. they still have a ways to go. host: we have an e-mail from paul.
host: talk to us about the politics of this budget negotiation. guest: well, the politics does complicate budget negotiations. if you go in a room with budget experts and the cameras are not on, you could have some logical debates about these issues. politicians -- tend to play to their base. on the republican side, you do not get a lot of votes by we should think copper mines with the democrats and that includes some tax breaks." it is easy for an opponent to attack you. on the democratic side, it is
difficult to say, "we should look at these long-term benefits and maybe we should scale some of them back." that is a tough message on the democratic side. what you need to do for a long- term budget deal is compromise on those things. that is a skill that seems to be diminishing on capitol hill. i am afraid you had into a campaign season and it makes it more difficult to achieve a budget deal. in texas on our line for democrats. caller: how are you doing? louis brandeis said we must make our choice. we may have democracy or what may have war. we cannot have both.
corporations -- find them hundreds of millions of dollars. they pay their fair share of taxes. eisenhower and john f. kennedy were paying --the top 10 was paying --corporations find ways they do not want to fund the social programs. [indiscernible] i think that is ethically wrong. need toe people and vote-- to organize republicans out of office.
have the best interest of the country. that is all i have to say. aside thel, putting partisan preference, let me address one of the issues you raised. tax breaks. there are over $1 trillion worth of tax breaks in error code. exclusions, credits, deductions. is like a piece of swiss cheese. it has a lot of holes in it. close a number of those loopholes, or reduce the size of them so that there is --
those a really subsidies. spending programs run through the tax code. that is a way to subsidize certain activities through the federal budget. the simpson-bowles commission and the domenici ribbon commission and president obama and governor romney all advocated some form of tax equalizationn, tax by closing some of these things and bringing in more revenue. one of the disagreements is what to do with the revenue. if you close these deductions and credits, that broadens the base of taxation. there is more money available to be taxed. you can bring in the same amount
of revenue by lowering the rate. what do you do with the extra money? republicans would want it all to go for deficit reduction. democrats want to go for deficit reduction and some of it for other purposes. to republicans won all to go rate reduction. democrats say we should also use it for deficit reduction or to find other priorities. host: we are talking with bob bixby. glen is on our line for independents. caller: thank you for letting me talk. one way they can get more taxes and is to get these people back to work.
they do not even try now. they just keep on hiring the government and paying high wages. my daughter works in a rest home as a cook. some time ago i heard there was a discrepancy in the white house. the women got $60,000 a year and the man got $70,000 a year and that is cooking. there is a lot of difference and $70,000 and $6.45 an hour. they got to get people back to work. thank you. think as the economy improves and employment picks up, that will have a positive effect on the budget. and so we cannot just look at the budget in isolation.
you have to look at the economy. thebetter the economy does, better shape the budget will be in. even if the budget, if we assume there is a strong economic growth, we still have a situation where the spending will exceed the revenues and so we have to make some policy choices as well as doing everything we can to improve the economy. host: a question from mike via e-m guest: yes. under this deal, the original sequester what have spending lienyear at about 965
dollars -- billion. as i understand the deal, it would be around $1 trillion. below the number that would have been the level under the original budget caps that were agreed to in 2011. setdebt limit deal in 2011 pretty tight budget caps for 2021. sequestrationlled is lowering the caps further, for a number of reason. this deal -- i think what
they are trying to do is allow more spending above that sequestration cap. it still would be lower than the cap they agreed to in the debt limit deal. it is not as if they are jettisoning all restraint. host: we have been having a discussion about a deal. how likely is it that something will come to fruition before friday? guest: i think it is fairly likely that they will get this deal that we all think we know what is in it. i think it is fairly likely they will get up by friday. they want to go home for the holidays and want to send a signal that they have a deal. 15, have until january that is the next shutdown
deadline if there is not an agreement in place. they do not have to do it why december 13. there is no penalty for missing that deadline. i think they want to get it done. from next is kevin kentucky. mr.ler: good morning, esthe bixby. thank you for c-span. the deficit cannot be cured by these big spending programs like --s a lot like [indiscernible] guest: i did not get that. host: let's take a question from twitter.
guest: well, social security is funded by a payroll tax. part of medicare is funded by the payroll tax. the money is accounted for separately. it is all part of the federal government. social security is a federal program. the tax is a federal tax. it is important to account for it separately since we have a dedicated payroll tax for that purpose. balancing should be -- ideally it would be good if we could say social security was completely off budget. and technically speaking it is
off budget. it is money that comes into the treasury and the benefits go out. it is not as if beneficiaries -- we talk about the payroll tax being insufficient to cover benefits, which it is right now. the program is running a deficit. able toecurity is receive sufficient funding by cashing in the bonds it has in that is anund, but expense to the treasury which has to come up with the money to cover those bond payments into social security. the bottom line is it is part of the federal budget. we have not privatized the system.
the money is accounted for separately. the government is not going to default on the money it owes to social security or to the medicare part a trust fund. host: bob is on our line for and dependents. -- for independents. caller: reducing some of the so sex expenses of means testing -- of the social security's of means testing. 50,000, and increasing the social security age by one year. thank you. guest: i think that sounds like a pretty good plan. i would vote for it. i think the long-term problems of social security have to be
addressed by some combination of reduced benefits and that does not mean reduced absolute benefits, and new revenue. i think the combination you probably is where things will eventually end up once the local system gets around to dealing with it. it is much easier to face those changes in overtime than to wait until you have a crisis and then to do it suddenly. ehat is why we should b looking at a long-term solution because it is a matter of planning for the future. a matter of looking at the program and saying, the program
is already paying out more than it takes in. my generation is beginning to qualify for benefits. we get a growing gap between income and the expenditures going out. if you and act changes now and phase them in overtime, you have a better situation for the future. host: travis on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my questions. ofave worked in a lot medical staffing agencies. i know the government is money to the house facilities and nursing homes, the medical staffing agencies. a lot of times my last check was
more than the one i got for the services i provided. why isn't there more being done about certain areas that do not have medical help for people that need it. you have to go see a physical assistant who has to of course respond to their doctor. it is not the education for the medical services seems to me next to null. if there is anyway you could given earned income credit for seniors that the family for taking care of their home. thank you. guest: the latter is an idea that might be part of -- i can a magic that idea. the society is changing greatly as the demographics shift.
that will require some changes in government policy. whether it is some change in the eligibility age of social security or medicare but also havese more families will meot of aging boomers like around the house to take care of. --ot of families understand i do not want to say the burdens. mother or father or somebody you care about deeply. but as families become caregivers, they may eventually be some federal response to that. a difficult policy issue is we have not addressed long-term
donewhether that is institutionally or in the home. if we werehappier discussing those sort of things in the budgetary context and figuring out what was good policy and how we are going to pay for that then worry about how we're going to replace $20 billion next year by lifting the aviation security tax. those are small ball issues that we are talking about. host: another e-mail this morning from patricia. went back to the interest rate? that would cost the government a great deal of money. it is probably not what the e-
mailer intended. the government is borrowing a great deal of money right now at their cheap interest rates. the cost to the government has been constrained. it is about $200 billion a year. you would think it would be even more. the interest rates the government is having to use is very cheap. if we went back to more traditional interest rates, the federal government would be spending more money. just look at the cbo productions over the next 10 years -- the cbo projections. that will rise to around $800 billion or so over the next 10
years, and that is assuming interest rates go back to about 2.5%, where they are now. if there were higher rates, it would be more. on the social security side, the e-mailer talked about raising the cap. that would be enough to cover the short term shortfall in social security, or close to it, depending on where you set that level. you would want to do that as part of a comprehensive deal to make social security solvent. you would not just want to raise the payroll tax to bring in revenue. it would hit lower income people harder. host: choice is on our line for
democrats -- joyce. everything theve government uses each and every day should be manufactured i taxpayers writer in the usa. the products should be well made. the government should be able to purchase them at a fair price. the employees should be paid a fair salary. carolina we can have our factories up and running in six months, making things for our government. guest: idea. host: last call comes from pennsylvania. ed is on the line for independents. caller: good morning, mixed or bixby -- mr. bixby.
why are we debating whether to put that top tax bracket back up to 90%, where was with eisenhower, or backup to 70% before ronald reagan took over. we would have all this money to rebuild our bridges and roads and take care of the needs of this country. this national debt, too much money is going back to the wealthy. you have to borrow money to pay the bills. guest: yeah. people were not paying that. that was the thing. if you look at revenues as a percentage of the economy. andet about the rates whatever loopholes there have been.
revenues going back 40 years or more have consistently been 18%nd 70% of the economy, of gdp -- 17% of the economy. what has changed is the rate structure and there have been things that have changed. haserms of the money that come in, it has been fairly consistent as a percentage of the economy. went it has gotten over 19% is where we have come to where the budget is balanced or even in surplus. norm is notthe sufficient as a norm to fund our budget. that leads me to conclude we will need to have more revenue.
i went not to apply raising the rates back to 70 or 90%. people whenever paying that anyway. there were loopholes. it is not an efficient way to do it. better to close the loopholes we have now and you could bring in the same amount of revenue at even lower rates. i am with you in this sense. we need to be debating these big tax reform issues and we are not. and chairmanress murray and ryan, if they can pull off this budget deal. it is a budget deal to solve a short-term crisis scenario rather than to address the long-
term issues. host: we will be watching that in the days and weeks ahead. thank you for joining us this morning. we will come back and be joined by jeffrey young to discuss the affordable care act. and later, we will be joined by andrew tilghman of "military times." first we get an update from c- span radio. >> more comments from chuck hagel. he said a possible budget agreement back home could easily automatic spending cuts that have hit the military hard. visited afghanistan before traveling on to pakistan, where he arrived today. he will meet with the new army chief of pakistan. the latest interruption of u.s. shipments out of afghanistan through the main border crossings into pakistan.
south africa is expected to host up to 80,000 people at tomorrow's memorial service for nelsen mandela. four u.s. presidents will attend including bill clinton and jimmy carter. the service is being held at johannesburg, the site of the 2010 world cup. george h w bush is the only living former president who will not attend the event. he is no longer able to travel long distances. . nelson mandela died last week at the age of 95. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> c-span. we bring public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings, and conferences, and offering complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house, all as a
public service of private industry. we're c-span, created by the cable tv industry 34 years ago and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. and now, you can watch us in h.d. >> the wireline world is the central security or system of our country. it is the veins and arteries that connect what is now the information economy in the united states. we are seeing data traffic increase at the rate of 40% per year. it connects all forms of communication whether they originate in a wireline environment or not. yeah, i would say america is a wireline future. >> the future of communications industry with walter mccormick tonight on the communicators at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> "washington journal"
continues. host: we are joined now by jeffrey young a health-care reporter from "the huffington post." walk us through how the affordable care act impacts medicaid recipients. guest: this is supposed the a fairly simple question to answer. $15,000 and change that we're supposed to secure coverage for anyone. they did not have to be disabled. it is a patchwork of requirements in all of the states and d.c. the supreme court upheld the rest of the law last year saying states could opt out of the extension. about half the states are doing it. host: why only half the states?
guest: it is almost entirely a partisan issue. there are a couple of republican governors they got behind this and a few democrats that were not able to get their legislators on board with it. there are a lot of reasons cited by opponents of the expansion. mainly it comes down to money. the government is paying the entire cost of the expansion. states will pick up 10% in future years. for some states, that 10% is more than they wanted to spend. host: we are talking to jeffrey young, health-care reporter for "the huffington post." the number for republicans, 202- 585-3881. democrats, 202-585-3880.
.ndependent, 202-585-3882 bobby jindal. let's listen to what he had to say. [video clip] >> we made the right decision not to expand medicaid. we are building a bottom-up alternative, delivering better health care for our people. host: your take. guest: they are not expanding coverage to uninsured residents. if you think that is important, it is not going to accomplish that. he may not want to spend the money on that. there are concerns about not enough primary care doctors. there may be interesting things with health care delivery at the
state level in the way that medicaid is carried out. know where are they attempting to get health coverage to these folks, with one possible exception in wisconsin. scott walker has shifted some of the medicaid people onto the exchanges and offered medicaid. that may be on hold because of the problems at the federal exchanges. host: when you look at these decisions, who is making the decision, the governor or someone else? guest: for the most part it is governors who were never interested in the first place, like governor bobby jindal. the legislatures were on board.
republican majorities did not want to do it, either. there may have been bills put forward but they did not go anywhere. in florida and new hampshire and missouri. in some cases, the governor of kentucky was able to do the expansion by fiat. just about a month ago, john k- asick used a fairly obscure budget panel made up of lawmakers and other folks who were able to sign off on this expansion. all that entails is the state excepting a bunch of federal money and carrying out the expansion. is on our line for
republicans. caller: how are you guys doing this morning? host: good morning. caller: i have a question. i was wondering if you are foring the red states opting out? which side do you lean on? you seem more on the liberal side this morning. if you could answer those two basic questions. guest: in addition to the budgetary matters, the political dynamic right now about the affordable care act is that for the most part republican politicians at the state and federal level do not want to be associated with this law. what you see in a lot of cases makers saying we
do not like this thing. "our voters do not like this. i do not want my fingerprints near this." if they expand medicare, i think they feel they would share the blame for it. if it goes well, there is no downside for them. they can come back and do it next year or the year after that. those lawmakers or governors decide if they would go in that direction. host: dale is on our line for independents. caller: good morning. i just got approved for asability, which is $1228 month. i was told i have to give them $594 a month to get any kind of
medical coverage. toi do that, i cannot afford feed myself or pay my rent. i do not understand how this is affordable for somebody like me. i will wait for your answer off air. guest: i do not know enough about ohio's rule and how that fits in with other programs like disability insurance to know the situation. one thing the affordable care is basesupposed to do your eligibility entirely on your income and not on your assets. for some people, it should limited the problem of having to spend down your assets. you have too much money and your car is worth too much and
therefore it is determined you are not eligible. host: a recent headline in politico -- host: walk us through that scenario. guest: before the affordable care act, if you want to sign for medicaid, which goes by different names in different states, you went to a state agency and they would enroll you. or nois one stop shopping wrong door.
you go looking for health insurance. you sign up to the website and you are good to go. the government which is running the exchanges is supposed to forward your information to a state agency which will then enroll you. the data that is going out to the states is not complete. states are concerned they will get information from people, sign them up, and later determine they were not eligible. this is similar to the problem with flawed data going to private agencies. we will not know for a few weeks about some number of people who believe they will be signed up for health coverage and find out the hard way they are not because of failures outside of their line of sight. host: peggy is on our line for
democrats. caller: hello. host: good morning. caller: i was wondering. income is like $700 a month, which would be very much below the poverty $100 in foodound buy groceries, a supplemental program for people with that income. i was wondering, now they are talking about cutting $30 for each person in that bracket. so that would come up to $70 a
somebody food for whose income is $700. i am wondering if they are going to make an amendment to this, if the government-- if the people in washington know -- host: your response. guest: i do not know anything about the food stamp program. i would encourage you to check out the work of my colleague on this topic. you can find a bunch of stories that might help you understand. host: denzel is on our line for democrats. caller: me and my wife have an income of about $42,000 a year. obamacare, the
company she was working for drop the insurance for the employees. hour.kes $10.35 an she tried to get on the federal program and could not do it. they were supposed to call her back but did not call her back. the cheapest we found is $900 a month. that is nearly $12,000 a year. i have a subsidy with my social security. they take out around $100 on that and the subsidy is around $150. is over 1/3, just for my health insurance, not counting my automobile and everything else. what are we going to do? there just ain't no way we can
afford that kind of insurance cost. insurance,the health the prices you are talking it is, does that include -- hard to know. i couldn't tell if that included tax credits that might be eligible for based on their income. if it does and that is more than they can afford, there is no answer to that. is health insurance. if the premiums may cap more income, you dour not have to comply with the individual mandate. that calleruld do more specific information.
care obama's new health fix-it man. a post just went up. can you talk about that? be one of the to white house'lobbyists to capitol hill and was working with congress when they pass the affordable care act. this appears to be a response to a freak out on capitol hill among democrats regarding the issue of people's policies being canceled because they did not meet the rules. may be the white house felt they had some of who is dedicated to this issue and had worked on
getting a bill passed with the democratic lawmakers, maybe they could quell this discontent before a republican bill coming up on the house floor. that is what was going on a few weeks ago. from let's go to dan anchorage, alaska. caller: this is dan. my question is about the in theon of dedicated states that turned it down. who decides whether a state turns it down? is if the governor or the legislature of the state? is there any way if the state turned it down that they can change their mind and take it? guest: the answer is it depends on the state.
usually the legislature has to pass a bill and the governor has to sign it. the governor in alaska, he waited and said in the last few weeks he did not want to do the expansion. that takes care of that for 2014. any state at any point can jump in and take this federal money. they do not have to wait until 2015. if the governor of alaska and decided to do that medicaid expansion, the federal money would start coming in as soon as a possibly could, just like in other states. likewise they could do it in the middle of the year. host: let's go now to one of your tweets.
host: does that addiction hold true? guest: my guess is that this person is referring to two things. medicaid is in most states the largest single budget item, more than education or highways. health care itself is incredibly expensive. medicaid tends to be cheaper. they pay doctors less. there is that issue. the defunding may be responsible and might be too much of a budgetary burden on top of what they are already spending. the other concern is medicaid pays lower rates and it may be harder for people to get access to the health care when they need it.
the people we are talk about now thereforesurance and not good access to health care. overall a lot of people would rather see an expansion of the existing program is the program down to a smaller number of services,wer covered have people pay monthly premiums if they have the money depending on their income. instead it is expanding. host: let's go to chicago with cheryl. caller: good morning. medicaid expansion under the affordable care act is extended to individuals with low incomes regardless of their assets. it applies to individuals over the age of 54. could you talk about how would affect these
older people who are getting medicaid if they have assets? process, areation the people learning about what that would mean when they pass away for their estate? guest: that is outside my area of expertise. the affordable care act get rid of asset test. it varies so much from state to state and states are allowed to do optional kinds of expansions or partial coverage and i am not programs aree side affected by the rest of what is in the law. host: roberta in georgia on our line for independents. caller: good morning. i have a statement.
since october 23 i have been applying for obamacare. i get 1027 dollars. i am 64 years old. i completed it this week. the marketplace person told me the lowest i would have to get would be $416 a month. there is no way i can afford it. i have to go back to the community and get the free service. is that right? that is half of my income, even with the credit. i will get off and listen for your comment. thank you. guest: what we are seeing is that even with some level of subsidization, not everybody is going to view this as affordable. if you are in your 60's, insurance is going to be pretty
darn expensive. this was supposed to help with that. there are going to people who decide they cannot fit it into their budget. at least the law allows for cases like that. you don't have to pay any kind of penalty for violating the individual mandate if the insurance is that large a chunk. host: talk about the implications for young people. ofst: partly as a result what i was saying about older customers, some younger people in this market now before the , theyles go into effect may see their rates go up, partly because the benefits are richer and older people cannot be charged more than three times as much is young people and
companies are not allowed to charge based on past history. the idea is that your prices will be even over the course of your lifetime. there will not be a huge spike when you turn 40. that should help a lot of people in their 20's and 30's. you are are younger, more likely to be eligible for financial assistance and that may offset whatever price increase. that is basically how it works. this is one of the reasons why it is so important for insurance companies to get as many young people in as possible. oklahoma on our line for it democrats. caller: good morning.
i would like to make a statement. oklahoma, when i insurance looking for that i could purchase through the aca, i was not getting on the aca website. there are a lot of websites out there that appear to be the government website but they are not the government website. i was looking at quotes that were outrageously high. i finally got on the aca website and my insurance prices were not that bad. i went to my sister and my brother-in-law. my sister was doing exactly the same thing. i stopped her and pointed her in
the right direction. that insurance for the same plan was $1100 a month of the private insurance carrier and it went down to just over $200 a month when they got on the aca site. people areg a lot of not going to the right site and funding their insurance is outrageously high on these other sites. that is just an observation that i wanted to point out. thank you. guest: some states have been trying to crack down. there are a bunch of websites that are designed to look like the health insurance exchange. this is common sense, i suppose. people should be careful about who they give their information to and about making any
insurance purchases without being sure they got the best deal. if you go to legitimate concerns fewsurance companies, very can only show you the list price. if you're eligible for any assistance, you are not going to see that. there still may be good reasons to go to call them directly. but you are not going to see every plan available and it is harder to figure out what you are going to pay. host: i want to go back to the governors with this e-mail. guest: this reminded me of a
larger phenomenon. 10 years ago i would have been shocked to see cases where state governments were telling the federal government, no thanks, we do not want those billions of dollars. states that are not expanding medicaid, those tax dollars are going to other states that are expanding medicaid. extension isthe fully funded by the feds -- a person in taxes, some of that money is going to pay for medicaid recipient in ohio or new jersey or new york. there is a little bit of an irony. some have highlighted that. as ana, for example, example for doing that. i have to wonder over time about
other kinds of benefit programs. if you live in kentucky and looking for an expansion and it appears to be working fairly look ates your cousin that i wonder whether he would be better off living where you live? in north carolina, and he is on our line for republicans. my call,he reason for it seems like this is creating another entitlement program because everybody that i hear is gotten lower payments either on medicaid or other around. 13% of people are actually paying into the system. isn't that basically doomed for failure? is duei don't know if it
for failure -- doomed for failure, but you're not wrong. this is an entitlement program. the tax credits for private insurance are available to anyone who meets the income requirements who does not have coverage elsewhere, like from a job, for example. if you are self-employed and you make less than 400% of poverty, you are entitled to those tax credits. you do not have to take them, that you are entitled to them under the law. in terms of whether it can work or not, it is a mix of taxpayer money going into finance those cuts in medicare payments to doctors -- not to doctors, but hospitals and medical providers. then everyone paying into the insurance pool, whether it is your portion of the premium off the tax credits or whether you are paying the full premier self. the way -- the full premium yourself. it remains to be seen whether there will be enough money
coming in there to make that work for the insurance company. with jeffrey young of "the huffington post." samuel from florida is on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: good morning. my question is, the affordable , am i supposed to be billed according to my paycheck? what percentage of my paycheck should go to my insurance? ort portion of my paycheck what percentage of my paycheck should go to payments for insurance premiums? creditshe way the tax are designed, it varies based on income. but you are not supposed to pay any more than 9.5% of your annual income on health insurance. 200%ur income goes down, of poverty, 300% of poverty,
that number is smaller. 6%.ould be 8%, tax credits will push down that price to whatever level is at your income level, so it could be 6. if you live someplace where prices are low enough, the list one is at or below the cap your income your health insurance is supposed to cost, you will get a tax credit because you will not need one to keep it below that level. i was looking at plans in my home town where i grew up in pennsylvania, and somebody making $30,000 a year, less than a 35-f poverty, i picked year-old, made up a fake person -- would not get a tax credit because the price is already below that income limit. i cannot give you more specific answers than that, but if you look online, you should be able to figure out what the max is that you can be asked to pay. from another question
twitter this morning. "new affordable care u.s. health plans exclude top hospitals. why?" in some cases, i don't think there has been a cooperative review, but one way of keeping your costs down as an insurance company is to only accept medical providers that will agree to the rate you want to pay. that is how all insurance companies operate now. they strike deals with this hospital and that hospital but not the one over here because that one will not take their payment rates. what is happening in with the exchanges is that in order to keep premiums as low as possible, the insurance companies are drawing a hardened line. there may be a big hospital in your city or county or a prestigious hospital that the insurance companies said this is what we are willing to pay you, and the hospital said that is not enough, so they will not do business. syracuse, new york.
ron is on our line for independents. caller: i am on both medicaid and medicare because my income is about eight hundred dollars per month. i cannot even afford the co- pays, each means i skipped important x-rays to follow-up some things that are going on with my liver and an aneurysm. to be the whole debate ridiculous. keep hearing about skyrocketing costs of medical care. it is not the care that is skyrocketing. 2010, the average from $750urance went per month to almost $1900 per month, 128% raise. the insurance companies, the top five insurance companies
from 2000 to 2010 had a profit increase of 440%. care gettinghealth more expensive. doctors and nurses and orderlies and janitors are not more than doubling their pay. the insurance companies are putting it all in their pockets. now, they take about $800 billion a year in administrative profits andeir stuff. all other industrialized nations lot oft of -- and a developing nations provide free health care. they pay at most half what we pay here, and the outcomes are better than they are here. but we have -- what we have to have is a single-payer system. insurance companies provide no goods and no services. ages take money in between you and your -- they just take money in between you and your health care.
starting in january when -- did you have a question for our guest this morning? caller: yeah. why can't we just agree that we do not need this. we need single-payer health care to cut the cost and improve the treatment, like all the other nations do. think theean, i fairly obvious answer is that comes down to politics. when president obama was elected, congress started working on the health-care bill that ended up being the affordable care act. they ruled out single-payer from the beginning. no one really put a lot of muscle behind it in congress. among other things, it is fairly obvious to point out that the health-insurance industry is a big powerful industry and they have a lot of employees. to do something like single- payer would disrupt all of that. not to mention, i have been thinking about this since the furor a month ago with plans
getting canceled. at least a few million people who got the letters from the insurance companies that they could not keep their insurance from this year into next year and everybody freaked out -- if you did single-payer, literally everybody would get a letter like that. if i were a member of congress i would look at it as 2 million levels -- 2 million letters, and i would wonder what it would be like if it was 170 million or more. our intermediaries in the form of insurance companies, that may add some cost to the equation. one thing that the caller is mistaken about -- the prices for health care services, the things that hospitals and doctors do -- those have gone up, too. it is one of the reasons the insurance prices go up. of --as happened in spot in spite of the united states not having as good health
outcomes as other developed nations. next call comes from shreveport, louisiana. lisa is on our line for republicans. caller: hi, mr. young. how are you? i do not understand about the income. i am recently divorced and i have lost my insurance. , i have anring annuity for $45,000 where i somethingi also have worth $30,000. would they take that out of my account if i could not enforce -- if i could not afford insurance at the moment? i have no income. i have no job. guest: i am not sure what you mean by "take out of" your account. if you do not want to buy insurance, the government will not come after you and take it. although with the tax refund you will have to pay a penalty
there. that is sure how counted in terms of eligibility for financial assistance to pay for health insurance. if i had a situation like that, i would call h&r block or something to double check. if you call the hotline number for the health-insurance exchanges, they can explain to you how they count what income and what gets excluded. lisa intrigue board. next up, let's talk with david from north carolina. caller: a couple of comments. who was gentleman talking about federal money in states that turn it down -- he knows as well as i do when the feds give you money, there are a whole lot of strings attached to it. doingher is, obama is what he said he was going to do
when he talked to joe the plumber with this plan. this is the redistribution of wealth because these subsidies do not come from nowhere. they come from the taxpayer and they come from upper income people paying higher for insurance. they also come from young, healthy people hating for insurance. -- is why you see obama's young, healthy people paying for insurance. this is why you see obama's numbers going down, from people who voted for him that do not think it is going as well as it could be. guest: particularly on the question how young adults will fare under this. the theoretical arguments in both directions are straightforward. i was them is, as mentioning before, some people will see higher rates than they would on today's market. the flipside, people who are in
the age that are also about the help payingto get for it. that might come from somewhere, as the caller pointed out. about half of the new law is funded by new taxes, especially those targeting people with higher incomes. whether a 25-year-old feels good about this or not i think will depend on each individual case, what they are paying and getting for it. i do not know how you compile every 25-year-old in america. i don't know how that will look every two years from now, every five years from now. from twitter, "why do some have to follow the affordable health care law with threat of punishment while others are exempt from it?" an upper limit on your income, you can be made to pay for health insurance. above that, you do not have to
-- there are a bunch of exemptions. if you have gone through a divorce or had a death in your family, you do not have to pay the individual mandate and get health insurance. the idea was to create a mandate that was strong enough to nudge people who may otherwise have gone without insurance to get some but with enough kind of humane exceptions to try to avoid situations where somebody was literally deciding whether to pay for health insurance or their rent. -- if thatre if and answers the specific questions, but there are a bunch of exemptions to the mandate. host: from altoona, pennsylvania, betty is on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. i had a comment regarding -- i am a single-payer advocate, number one. the comment i wanted you to talk
about is in general, what a social security disability income is determined -- determines your premium for medicare coverage? because right now, with the deductions for the medicare and the medicare advantage program, which we were encouraged to buy from a , my outlay, including my premiums, co-pays, and prescriptions, once i hit the 8% tout hole, far exceeds 10% of my income. that would be helpful to others in the same economic position if you could discuss that. thank you so much for your time. guest: those income caps and
stuff to not have anything to do with medicare or medicare advantage. if you are a medicare beneficiary, basically none of those rules apply to you. in your was a hole before , it still may be there, but there are not any real changes made to it. the doughnut hole, the gap in prescription drug coverage under medicare, that is being gradually closed as a result of the affordable care act. it is smaller than it was two years ago, and at some point there will not be a doughnut hole. all your benefits will be covered through the course of the year. at that will not help you if you need that today. -- that will not help you if you need that today. find jeffrey young's work at "the huffington post." next, "your money" segment focuses on the panic on -- pentagon personnel.
breaking news -- american airlines and us airways have completed their merger. they are now ranked as the world's biggest airline. willmerican airlines name live on while us airways will disappear. the merger survived a challenge from the government and criticism from groups who feared it would lead to higher prices. personnel changes in the administration. today is the last day for bruce president biden's chief of staff. he will have the broad foundation. succeeds bruce reed tomorrow. the senate is expected to clear a house passed ill extending for 10 years a ban on entirely plastic ones. also members will resume consideration of the 2014 defense funding bill and vote on the confirmation of patricia and the vote will be the first test of how republicans respond to the democratic
changes in filibuster rules. watch live senate coverage on c- span2 at 2:00 p.m. eastern time, or you can listen today live on c-span radio. white house coverage on c-span at noon. those are the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> i got upset with the president because they covered my mental health work, the first few meetings i had, and then they never showed up anymore. so when they were walking the floor in the white house and met us woman who was one of the press people -- met this woman who was one of the press people come a i said, no one ever goes to my meeting. she said, ms. carter, mental health is just not a sexy issue. but we tour the country, found what was needed, developed legislation and past the mental
health system act of 1980. it passed through congress one month before jimmy, as he says, retired fromrily the white house, in the incoming president put it on a shelf, never implemented it. one of the greatest disappointments of my life. >> first lady rosalyn carter, tonight on c-span and c-span3. also on c-span radio and c- span.org. >> "washington journal" continues. look each week we take a at how your taxpayer dollars are spent. pentagon personnel. your story headline, "top brass claims personnel costs are figures sayt budget
otherwise." guest: switching to discussion about the defense budget and personnel costs in particular, costswere all kinds of being thrown around. some people said it was a third of the budget, some people said it was half of the budget. i began to take a close look at what specifically the budget documents were showing, and specifically i started with secretary hagel making a comment a month ago or so where he said, about halfcosts are of the defense budget." office's the defense and they showed that costs had gone up a lot, but when you compare them to the discuss budget at large, they had gone up maybe a little bit less. personnellk about
costs rising, which they certainly have -- as a percentage of the defense budget, which is relative to the conversation, they are shrinking a little bit. defenset's listen to secretary chuck hagel's comments on the issue. then we will come back to andrew tilghman of "the military times." without -- consuming roughly about half the dod budget and is increasing every year, we risk becoming an unbalanced force, one that is well compensated but poorly trained and equipped with limited readiness and capability. going forward, we will have to make hard choices in this area in order to ensure that our defense enterprise is sustainable for the 21st century. host: that was defense secretary .huck hagel speaking andrew tilghman from "military times," walk us through what he said and what are the actual
costs of personnel for our military. guest: the secretary is certainly right that the cost of military personnel has grown a lot over the past 10 years. there have been a lot of pay raises, particularly in the early part of last decade were the wars in iraq and afghanistan were at their peak. additionals granted benefits to military personnel. but what the secretary does not talk about is the percentage of that growth relative to everything else. i found that when i dug into the budget documents from the dod wasite, really what i found that personal costs are indeed the money for is operations. so is spending on buying new weapons systems, and so is spending on research and development. the pie is growing at a very great rate, but each slice of
the pie, personnel and everything else, is not really growing at a significant rate over any of the other ones. to hear fromd love you. from republicans, the number is 20 2-585-3881. for democrats, 202-585-3880. 585-3882.endents, 202- if you are a retired member or active member of the military, call 202-585-3883. many servicemembers coming home our military, our military is getting smaller. what would you say to those people? guest: i think there is a lot of reason to think that military costs, even if they might not begin to shrink, certainly the rate of growth is going to fall off a lot for a lot of reasons.
one, we are bringing troops, some from afghanistan. we are totalizing a lot fewer reservists. we are going to be dropping the size of the army, the ring core, and i think the air force as well. that will cost -- the marine corps, and i think the air force as well. beyond that, we will not have the same kind of pay raises, the generous pay raises we saw in 2003 through 2006. congress added a lot of benefits like stepping up the health-care benefit for servicemembers during that period. they stepped up the housing allowance benefit, and that is not where the politics on the hill are in spending these days. that is a critical part of the discussion, the rate of growth on personnel costs will not be what it was the past 10 or 12 years. a major story estimates that roughly $92,000 is the annual personnel cost per active-duty member. when we say personnel cost, what
is being counted with that number? that is an important accountingcause the methods are arcane and confusing. what we need to remember to avoid the fuzzy math issue, we look at specifically the line item in the budget called military personnel. what this includes is active- duty pay, active-duty housing allowance because some of your viewers may know the military provides a tax-free stipend for housing for servicemembers, which in the washington area can be over $2000 per month. that also includes retirement accrual. there is a generous retirement account for people serving over 20 years, and some health-care costs. that does not include the operations at some hospitals, childcare services and other benefits that certainly would fall under the category of being full compensation of
servicemembers. we looked at a very strict basic military personnel, the things that come to the military personnel servicemembers in the form of checks or significant benefits. thomas ins go to laguna woods, california, on our lines for democrats. thomas, turned on your tv or radio. i am having trouble hearing you from the background noise. caller: thank you. my question is, everybody wants to get the military costs down. if all the countries that want to go to war with the united states would realize that if they would not fight us we would wed them half of our costs, would send half the cost to them once a year not to fight. the other thing, if we do win and if all the world knew that the united states does win, you are going to have to sell for
aris and pay the taxpayers back. i think the caller makes an interesting point in terms of what the threats are out there and the actual costs of going to war when the country decides to do it, and i think that that is a question that really affects the whole range of the defense budget in terms of not only personnel but also in terms of what kind of weapons system we buy, the kind of bases we maintain overseas. those are questions the defense department is wrestling with across-the-board right now, which is why there is such a tension between these various areas of the budget. if the budget is going to come down, as it has been legally mandated under sequestration laws, component of the budget is going to take the biggest hit? next, from california,
daniel is on our line for republicans. caller: i just wanted to ask why can't we, with our technological abilities now, draw down a lot -- because and keep we have many nations in the world with armies that can provide military support for the , for advancing democracy and freedom. i don't see why we all have to go broke to support all these and theirtries defense when there are many other nations with militaries just like ours. guest: i think daniel makes a couple of interesting points there. one of the issues diplomatically we are having is a lot of our allies are trying to cut their own defense budgets for obvious
reasons, and that is a concern of the pentagon. the other point is that we have so much more technology these days. thatked to several people suggested to me that, yes, the cost per person has gone up a lot, but that makes sense considering these are not the ground pounding trigger pullers we may have had in the army 30, 40 years ago. the people in the service these days are much more highly educated and well trained. they are dealing with complex and they areems costing more because we invest a lot more in them and it costs more to retain them. there are opportunities in the private sector that are greater. part of the thing driving these personnel costs to some degree is the technological advancement and the fact that we are expecting -- what we are expecting out of them in terms
of training and performance is higher than it was 23 years ago. host: earlier you mentioned the cost of military pay. a "new york times" op-ed last month suggested that military pay should be put on the table. host: do you think it is likely that pay would be a target as the pentagon looks to cut costs? guest: i think that pay as a target is an interesting idea. i don't think anyone is going to flat-out reduce military pay. editorialork times"
notes this is a fraught area of the budget to be debating. i cannot imagine an area where people would be saying you are going to be getting less than this year. what they are talking about doing this year is lowering the pay raise so it is less than the normal cost-of-living increase. right now the debate on the hill is whether to increase military pay next year by 1.8%, which could track with the private sector increase. which would be a raise nominally, but it would be less than the cost of increase. over several years you would see military pay would slowly come down relative to private sector wages. that is really what the writing on the wall is that i see. we are not going to cut military pay, but we are going to be raising it at a far slower rate so that over time, five or 10 ,ears, you will see relative
military pay will be falling. let's go to our line for active and retired military. john is on from oregon. are you with us? caller: yes, i am here. i have a quick comment on this, and i am so tired of hearing these people in washington, d c, tell me that i am overpaid and that i received too many benefits. i spent 20 years defending this country. i barely make over $1000 per month in retirement benefits. if i were to go into congress today and be fired tomorrow, my starting pay for congressman month.e $16,000 a if i got fired tomorrow, it
would stay the same. you want to cut cost in government, start with the senate and the house of representatives. guest: your thoughts? if i could ask, what is the pay grade that you retired at? host: he is not there. caller: john makes an interesting point, and it is one i hear all the time from service members and particularly retired service members who are getting these benefits and they feel it is really like a violation of the contract that they felt they had with the american people to hear this to caution about cutting benefits. -- ipect they won't suspect he probably left the service as an enlisted member. as many people may know, the difference in pay between officers and enlisted is quite dramatic.
it is sort of two different conversations when you talk to put the is easy officer's salary there and say this is very generous, but then you look at the assistant salary and the assisted benefits -- based on the conversation you had once you were in the service, it is not necessarily a dramatic benefit. john is probably in his 50's. he may have some low-grade physical injuries that limited his ability to work in some capacity. he gets probably $1000 a month or so in retirement pay. goodis certainly a very discussion for people to have on the hill. it is examples like john that point out the emotional nature of this conversation. host: hamilton, ohio. jim is also on our line for active and retired military. caller: hello?
yes, good morning. the question i got, does this include the cost of all these private contractors that are required to do everything for factervicemen, where in the military were able to perform service on our own. jim, that is an interesting thought and that is a real debate when we talk about military personnel costs. there is a question about what we include. on our story, we stuck to the wine in the budget that are called no terry personnel. that is limited to active duty and uniformed service members. the pentagon, roughly 800,000 civilian employees, that is in a different part of the budget called operation and maintenance , and contractors as well will be there. thes not technically in military personnel budget, but when we saw the secretary's
comments earlier and we saw that military personnel costs are half the budget. if you want to get to that statement, you have to begin including some civilian employees in there. terms of good point in how do we define no terry personnel. the contractors, to your point, will be under the pressure over the next few years as dod tries to go after them. they do not have the constituency, the emotional support from the american people that the actual uniformed troops do. host: going back to your comments on the benefits and pay for soldiers versus officers. a user on twitter rights -- guest: less than half. the vast majority of the force
is actually junior enlisted. a large or centage of the force does not serve more than four to eight years. noting, that a critical mass of the force is -- such very low pay. the military retirement benefit but four outous, of five people who serve in the military never reach 20 years. 17% of people who serve in the military will clear the 20-year mark and were collecting a retirement benefit. hundreds of thousands of people coming in and going out every 6,r that are serving -- 4, eight, maybe 10 years -- and are leaving without any retirement benefit at all. that is part of the discussion in terms of retirement as well, calling -- cutting costs overall and being fair to those people who serve shorter times.
utah,from salt lake city, michael is on our line for democrats. caller: hello. i was going to ask if there were any studies about how much retirement has dropped. don't they qualify for their social security benefits as everybody else who is not military? about well, i do not know the use of the word "double dipping," other than there are extreme cases where there are --sical if the bills of the physical disabilities. to your point about social security, yes, all these guys will be available for it, but only after they have reached the age of 65.
a generous component of military retirement as you can have a guy retired -- a guy and listed in years, isserved 20 out before 40 years old, and he will get some form of retirement benefit in immediately, and the average life expectancy, for another 30, 34 years. to serve 60 years who serve only 20. that is one of the sensitive things on the table right now, the besthat is really way to do things. host: our guest is andrew tilghman of "the military times." let's go to fred on our line for independents. caller: thank you. hello? host: no ahead. caller: is there any reason why
we cannot bring back the draft system we had in vietnam? draft system. i think the main reason we do not bring back the draft system, in addition to the fact there is not a lot of support for it on capitol hill, is that there is not a lot of support for it at the pentagon. military commanders -- it is important for them to have some good order and discipline in their various units, and the conventional wisdom that has vietnam, we ended the draft in 1973 and have had an all volunteer force since then. conventional wisdom is that we have a much more well disciplined force because people choose to sign up. if you were to have a draft and to send thousands and thousands of people into these military units, who essentially did not want to be there and did not volunteer, you would have a
whole host of morality and disciplinary issues that the military does not want to deal with. that is pretty much where the conversation about the track has started and ended in recent years. we spent some time earlier this morning talking about a budget deal that could emerge as .arly as this week talk about how sequestration plays into this debate. guest: sequestration is crippled to debate. it is basically capping -- is critical to this debate. it is basically capping roughly where they were about 2011, 2012, and the defense budget has been growing rapidly since then. all of their plans have penciled in continuing growth. that tells them now they will have to cap -- cap the budget, aspectsdrawing in all of the military. the component of personal cost that is interesting, congress
has basically told the pentagon they have to look at their spending will stop but at the same time there are similar laws that require them to continue to increase military pay at a certain rate. the pentagon cannot just change the military retirement system to make it cheaper. they have to get approval from congress. so there is the concern that within the pentagon budget the military costs are going to continue to grow, and the .verall budget will remain flat the pie will not grow any more, and the personal costs will at that point begin to underwhelm other aspects of the budget. could say that about almost every other aspect of the budget, too. weapons acquisitions have grown over the past 10 years, too. if you don't do something about that, there is the sense that, too, could overwhelm the budget.
--general, sequestration is has imposed an incredibly urgent pressure on the dod budget. leaders of the pentagon have always he begin to accept that or recognize it. they pretended this was not going to happen, and i think only in the past few months or weeks have we begun to see that the top pentagon brass wrestled with these hard questions about how are we going to meet these spending caps? michigan,a in troy, on our line for republicans. caller: i have two things i would like to discuss. the person that discussed the draft a couple calls back -- the reason why we will not have a draft is because of wealthy people, their children will not have to go to war. during the vietnam war, people
enrolled in college and took basket weaving so they could get outside the draft. people as there are poor that will go to war, that is how things will stand. i personally believe that not all the people who enlist are going there because they are wanting to be in the army. it is a matter of fact that they cannot get a job here. that was a side comment. on c-span within the last few months, they had someone talking about the lavish lifestyle of the generals and upper echelon officers, where they have lavish dinner parties with soldiers serving them, and they live a life of luxury, practically, and i think personally from what i have observed, we have in excess -- an excess of military officers. my question is, how can they be
financially removed so that we do not have to pay for that lovely life style e after all, as long as we put ourselves into wars, these generals seem to feel they are absolutely necessary. thanks. love c-span. guest: the caller makes an interesting point, something top leaders in the pentagon have been talking about for several years tom a particularly civilian leaders. of defense boby gates started this conversation years ago when he pointed out that the number of general and flag officers has grown far faster than the size of the force in general, even in a time of war. there is this top-heavy brought percy in some ways. the number -- top-heavy bureaucracy in some ways. the number of 2, 3, and four- staff, and they get air
travel and whatever they want. it is a significant problem that the dod is trying to address. it is difficult politically because these are the people who run the pentagon, and asking them to talk them selves and their friends out of a job is something that takes a while. just recently the secretary of defense announced some changes that he was making inside his office. it is a very small fraction of the pentagon at large. there is an effort, however slow, to try to rein in some of these general and flag officer jobs as a way to reduce bureaucracy. i do not know that that will solve the defense budget's overall problems, but it would be very symbolic in terms of making the force of will bit leaner. host: a couple of great questions coming in from e-mail. from paula --
guest: interesting question. their basic compensation is the same basically with the exception of the fact that when you deploy overseas into a combat zone, the pentagon has definitions. calledget some things combat pay, hostile environment pay, danger pay. it amounts to a few hundred dollars a month. when you are in a war zone, presumably getting shot at, you are getting paid more. but in terms of just being an infantryman, that that is your career field, that you are a sniper or mortar man or something -- you do not get paid anymore for being in that career field than someone who is basically a secretary or a medic or a lawyer or something.
there is some small compensation, but a lot of people would point out the fact that it is not very dramatic, considering the different types of jobs that we are talking about in terms of combat and noncombat. host: another question from e- mail -- someonehat sounds like who has been in the military, to
be honest. that is a really informed question and comment. it is hard to know precisely how much money be is being spent. the questioner refers to it as , security kind of thing. military service members move around as a matter of routine postop they move every three years or so. from one base to another. it costs the pentagon i think $12,000 andn $15,000 to take an army sergeant from fort hood in texas with his wife and two kids, and pack up all their things and move them to fort campbell in tennessee, and to get him set up in a new house to do essentially a similar job. huge expense. billions and billions of dollars, if you add that up on
an annual basis. like one of many places, the pentagon is talking about figuring out a way to slow down the rate of those moves, leave service members in one place for longer, simply because it costs so much money to move them. people feel like to be a well- trained servicemember, you need to move around and have that different experience. members told, service like the idea of sticking around because they have kids in school and they know where they're dry cleaner is, and they know -- a lot of them do not look forward to these frequent moves. telling a servicemember that they can stay in one place for years is a popular suggestion. sandra is on our line for independents. caller: i have heard rumors that we have an admiral for every
ship in the navy. , andl get off the line thank you very much for your time. have a good day. guest: i would want to double check this, but i believe we have more admirals in the navy than we have ships. really, if there is a ship at sea that the commander is not an admiral -- he will be a navy captain, probably, a lower rank. onshore,are basically running large offices in doing your craddick functions. that is a really good point -- and doing bureaucratic functions. that is a really good point. there is a lot of them. there is this inertia that has created more and more 1, 2, .hree, and four-star howard is on our line for
active and retired military. caller: good morning. ies germany, japan, and korea all have some of the best manufacturing bases in the world. they are major competitors of ours. iie 68 years after world war , you're still 50,000 gis in germany, 50,000 in japan, over 40,000 in korea. they are not sharing the expense of the personnel. something should be done about it. somebody has to take a hard look at the real costs. are we going to find ourselves in the same situation in iraqi 50 years from now, or afghanistan? these are hard questions that need to be answered. guest: thanks, howard. that is an interesting comment. economies ofrrent
, up againstpan afghanistan and iraq is interesting. the cold war seems pretty distant now. but the pentagon is largely .eluctant to really reduce keeping a significant military presence in europe, we help to maintain those european alliances. but also i think shifting gears a bit, the discussion about talkingtan, which is about the future of troops in afghanistan, that is something that has been active over the past few weeks. the agreement on the table would extend u.s. troop presence there 2024, and beyond.
that is what is in the discussion right now for afghanistan. putting down a military footprint there and a long-term presence that would put us on track to having bases there in a korea, which is kind of remarkable. there is a lot of politics coming on in afghanistan right now, so who knows. that is certainly discussion. host: secretary of defense chuck hagel just spoke in afghanistan, about the united states future there. [video clip] >> it is a real possibility don'te we cannot, if we have a bilateral agreement, protect our forces after 2014. no international partners will come. afghanistan essentially will be alone. but we have no other option.
the president cannot commit american forces or the united states of america unless we are protected with an agreement. with a zero option, no u.s. soldiers, isn't that an american retreat? you can use whatever term you want, say it anyway you want. unless we have the security of an agreement to protect our forces, we will have no choice. we will not be able to stay. host: andrew tilghman, your take? conversation this over the past few weeks to be really interesting. for many months you have had the pentagon talking about the fact that they would really like to keep up to 10,000 troops in afghanistan, to continue to support the afghan army and to conduct limited counterterrorism missions and cells. particularlyan and
provennt karzai have difficult to work with. now you are seeing comments from chuck hagel starting to say we might go ahead and pack it up. i think it will be interesting to see, this is such a politically delicate matter. to see where the white house comes down on this. we had a similar conversation to ago as we were packing up from a rack -- from iraq. the issue was whether troops were going to grant immunity from prosecution, and the pentagon agreed they would not leave any troops. so we had a complete withdraw from a rack. it looks like we might be going down that road in afghanistan, too. the next few weeks will be critical to that discussion because the dod needs in the
next few months to begin to plant whether they will literally pack up -- to plan whether they will literally pack up every tank, soldier, housing unit, and put that back on a boat to the states or whether ony will leave the footprint the outskirts of kabul for the long haul. that takes a long time of planning and forethought. on ouroodson in florida, line for retired and active-duty military. see thei would like to benefits for the military reduced substantially. the benefits amount to way more than 50% of their total compensation. privateybody from a first class to a four-star general. incidentally, we have 30 14-star 31erals and admirals --
four-star generals and add roles. -- and admirals. generalsour-star leading groups of 50,000 or less now. we used to have four-star leading groups of 100,000 troops. the caller makes an interesting point in terms of the benefits the military offers that are non-tax. the military offers troops so many things that are non-taxable and are non-tax benefit -- non- cash benefits, like you can live in on-based housing, there is child care for your kids, both care. there is free legal services. removing expenses -- free moving expenses, all those things.
era some interesting studies from think tanks in washington, service found that members do not appreciate these as much as they actually cost the government. one of the ideas that is bubbling up is that instead of saying to a service member we are going to give you child care -- health care for life, they might just say here are a few hundred dollars bonus at the end of every year. most service members indicate they would much rather have a little bit of cash at the end of the year to sit down and talk to their family about how to spend and invest rather than some of these somewhat abstract and very costly benefits that the military provides to service members that are both non-cash and in some cases do not even really come into play until many years out. there is a lot of discussion in terms of how to reshape that
entire benefits package. host: one more quick question from twitter. tyler beauchamp writes -- "is it possible to increase military effectiveness while reducing spending?" billionhat is a $100 question, i think. the point i just made, there are militaryfits that the is providing that the military does not really appreciate. you could give service members an option to say, do you want tri-care for life or a next or $800 a year. the government money and you will have a servicemember who is happier and may be more effective. there is a lot of different debates and subtle ways you might do that, but i do not think that there is that trade- off between cost and effectiveness that is a totally direct proportional thing. somenk it is possible with
real study to do that. my closing thought would be that a lot of these compensation rules that we have in place have not changed at all since the 1970's when we began the all- volunteer force. the private sector has updated a lot of aspects of its compensation system to people across the economy. is thet there opportunity for sin changes that would go along the lines of making it more effective. thank you for joining us this morning. that is all for this edition of "washington journal." be sure to join us tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> hello! [applause] firstname.lastname@example.org